Thursday, October 14, 2010

Because I just have to say it...

The continued sales success of the Taurus Judge and its spinoffs is the most damning condemnation of the general firearms and ballistics knowledge level of the average American shooter that I have ever seen.

There; I said it. I feel cleansed now.

70 comments:

Justin Buist said...

Amen to that.

Alan said...

People, in general, follow fashion not sense.

No reason gun owners should be any different.

Stranger said...

While I agree that the Judge is far from the most desirable weapon in almost every way - it will give the person on the front end a world class gut ache at near point blank ranges. Exactly the ranges most home invasion shootouts take place at.

While an invader at my home will be looking at the business end of a 1911 or a 57, or given a few seconds a .723 inch diameter hole in the muzzle, most people in a home defense situation will be about as well served with a Judge as anything else. Except a 12 gauge.

Stranger

Kevin said...

I'll admit my ignorance. Why does the judge suck? Looking to learn, not defending the judge.

og said...

Mweh. People stubbornly continue to buy Honda Elements, though the only element involved is Butt Uglium. People still stubornly buy pink pistols, and other people stubbornly continue to sell them. Engineers still buy Apple computers, and try to do serious engineering work with them. Millions of people bought the hopeychangey message of the obamessiah, and voted for him in adequate numbers to get him elected. Is it just now dawning on you that almost everyone is an idiot?

Brandon said...

First time I saw the Judge was, I think, in an ad in American Rifleman, where there's much love for Taurus in general. My first thought on seeing it was, "That's retarded." My opinion of it hasn't changed much since then. I just don't see the point.

Hypnagogue said...

It's a snake gun, Tam. *sheesh*

Anonymous said...

Kevin, rifled barrels almost all ways distort shot patterns into a doughnut shape - yes, with the hole in the middle. As one major selling point is using the .410 ammo, you can see why it sucks. The Judge, when properly evaluated, looses lots of effectiveness past 10 yards. I have seen glowing reviews that carefully keep the range to maybe 7 yards. Jeezloius! If you load it with .45 Colt ammo, it's a big unwieldy poor shooting revolver. FWIW, a S&W M&P .45 ACP will cheerfully run CCI snake shot (and be quite effective with that load), is more compact, more capacity, quicker to reload and is pretty darn accurate at about the same price point. Ditto for the Glock 21, Ruger P95, Glock 36, Glock 30, etc., etc.

Al T.

Anonymous said...

Tam

quoth, Wild West magazine June 2002

re: 'British Bull Dogs' and their Belgian counterparts during California Gold Rush daze

whining of S&W sales dude to S&W

"Why do you not put something on the market to compete with Webley's British Bulldog (sic) of .44 and .45 calibre (sic). The pocket pistol...has an immense sale on this coast...
end snip

The main effect of a Taurus and a Bulldog is the direct message to miscreant...You have attracted to undivided attention or more throwweight than you can imagine

half inch holes look like sewer pipes from the wrong side.
BTDT

woerm/thr

Anonymous said...

Oh, and it's a Taurus. They have very good customer service after the sale and you'll probably need it. Shop I worked at had so many returns we refused to carry the brand.

Al T.

Anonymous said...

grr
must edit before post

The main effect of a Taurus and a Bulldog is the direct message to miscreant...You have attracted THE undivided attention OF more throwweight than you can imagine

woerm/thr

Anonymous said...

Maybe there are more "Three Kings" fans of than we know...
Even though gun people tend to resent George Clooney

Tam said...

Don't even get me started on the original Chunder Five.

Nick Pacific said...

My neighbor took one from his store on a fowl hunting trip for kicks much to the laughter of his family... and actually used it with some effectiveness.

I was very upset that it actually had a small amount of value anywhere.

pdb said...

Post of the Year.

staghounds said...

What is it for? It is to sell!

"But it's so COOL!!!"

A Victorian Bulldog had a tactical niche, it threw a bigger bullet for its size than anything else.

This thing is huge for what it delivers.

And if you buy the
'big home defence revolver for the inexperienced" pitch, then why the tiny, hard to hold grip and recoil- friendly light weight?

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful weapon the gun is. It is a compact, powerful, and flexible platform.

What's not to like?

Shootin' Buddy

Stuart the Viking said...

Tam,

I have been saying the same thing since those damn things came out. Just about every gun shop in my area has had at least one... counterperson... try to sell me one claiming that it was the best thing ever. They will even argue about it and defend it like it's something holy at times. I don't get it. Luckily, it looks like the new is wearing off and people aren't pushing them so hard as they were. Thank Gdo.

s

ZerCool said...

I freely admit that it is butt-ugly, entirely impractical, and has little purpose.

I want one.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

There was one at the Northcoast Blogshoot. I didn't feel like trying it.

Anonymous said...

Handgun of the Year 2008!

(Giggle snort)

Gerry

JP said...

I'm with ZerCool.

All its good for is shooting melons and paper targets.

It is ugly/funky.

I want one.

DirtCrashr said...

Until I read the SWAT magazine test I didn't realize you could pattern #9 birdshot at 15-feet into a 30-inch doughnut with nothing in the center, but more importantly primers backing-out (shooting out) from recoil and locking up the gun made it dangerous to own.

Ritchie said...

Time to intro the 8-shot .32 pepperbox model.

Sigivald said...

Disagree, in principle.

The Judge looks like an awesome toy, especially the rifle variant.

People do buy guns for reasons other than strict utility, you know.

Otherwise I'd never own an AG-42.

(Agree, however, that anyone suggesting it's a practical - let alone ideal - self-defense arm really might want to re-think their analysis.

But as a toy? It's frickin' brilliant.)

Nolo said...

If it was lighter, smoothbore, and not made by Taurus, I'd actually be interested. If you live in an apartment, a smoothbore Judge-alike shooting the 4 pellet Federal load could actually be the ticket for a computerside gun, besides the fact that it's as heavy as a Model 500.

I've had some bad encounters with Taurus revolvers, though.

Motor-T said...

My dad's 3" 629 everything the Judge does in a much nicer package. It does a decent job on the local snake population with the CCI snakeshot loads. .44 spl ammo will run with most .45 Colt ammo. And we still have the option of loading some really nasty .44 mag ammo.

No Judge for me.

Just My 2¢ said...

As I said on another blog, nothing will drop faster from a load of .410 birdshot than from a 250 grain slug. Be careful or you'll put somebody's eye with that.

It's too bad because I like the concept of a .45 snubbie. However, the .454 Casull Raging Judge Magnum might be good Grizzly medicine and a less expensive alternative to the S&W Mountain gun and the Ruger Redhawk Alaskan.
I'll just take a Dremel and grind off the ".410 GA" from the barrel.

Sebastian said...

People stubbornly continue to buy Honda Elements, though the only element involved is Butt Uglium. People still stubornly buy pink pistols, and other people stubbornly continue to sell them. Engineers still buy Apple computers, and try to do serious engineering work with them.

I resemble that remark! As both a driver of a Honda Element (yes, they are ugly, but very practical) and an Engineer who uses a Mac (which works fine for that purpose, BTW, much better than a Windows machine)

Justthisguy said...

I wouldn't mind owning an element if it were all one color. It would be even better if the metal parts were painted in a non-specular way. Who decided that cars have to be shiny, anyway?

Oh, and what's so great about sliced bread? That just makes it spoil faster in my experience. Don't people know how to work a bread knife?

TBeck said...

It's a trainer for people not ready for a Desert Eagle.

Ed Rasimus said...

A very loud round of applause for saying it! When I first saw a Judge, I dredged up Col. Cooper's comment on the utility of the .40 S&W, "it's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist."

If you want a shotgun, get one. If you can't hit with a handgun, don't use one. If you want to kill snakes, you can get shot rounds for a .45 long Colt or a .44 RM. It is too heavy for concealed carry and too ugly to display proudly.

And, it is made by Taurus. On the plus side they've made firearms more affordable for many people. They also have excellent product support. (I just came from my local gunshop where the dealer was on the phone explaining to a Taurus owner how to ship his gun back to them for repair!)

On the downside, Taurus is cast iron, roughly finished and generally a clone of a quality piece.

All of this is simply opinion of course, but kudos for the original post. It needed saying...often!

Anonymous said...

Some people just shoot for fun ya know.

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, I got one and it works for what I needed. Probably have owned several hundred firearms in my life and have yet to find one that fills every requirement. Fer chrisakes, some people actually pay good money fer ugly plastic guns! BTW, mine does not pattern that way! Guess I'm just one of the uneducated masses.

jimbob86 said...

All the Ugly of a Glock, w/ none of the utility.

@ Kevin- Go read the TFL thread linked ..... sez it all.

Tam said...

"Probably have owned several hundred firearms in my life..."

Some folks probably think that's a lot... ;)

Caleb said...

Some folks think 200 rounds a month is a lot of shooting.

Dr. Feelgood said...

For some of us, it is.

ToddG said...

Some folks think 200 rounds a day is a lot of shooting.

Tam said...

I should clarify:

2 small-frame Tauruses and 1 J-frame and 2 Ruger 10/22's and 1 Glock and 1 ParaOrd and 2 Mosins... and pretty soon you're at 100+ firearms and yet you have no real statistical base for any of them.

RauĆ°bjorn said...

I bought mine just to see what all the fuss was about. As a platform for a .45 LC it sucks; too heavy too clunky (especially the magnum versions with the 3" chamber). But as a platform for .410 meant to be fired at 5-10 yards it works. I've tried squirrelshot, birdshot and several sizes of Buck (in 00, 000, 1 and 4), while I do get some donuting from squirrel and bird shots, the buck shows not signs of it. Oh, and I ran some slugs through it; the HP magnum slugs were disapointing, but the saboted slugs were not. I'm in the process of setting up to load my own flechette rounds to see how that patterns. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

I believe Og summed it up perfectly.

Blue Steel
http://pointblankrange-bluesteel.blogspot.com/

Moriarty said...

I had a chance to shoot one a while back at the insistence of its proud owner. After dutifully sending some .410s downrange, I handed it back carefully keeping the look of puzzlement off my face.

I too recalled the words of Cooper to the effect that one could get into a good deal of trouble by asking what something was for.

Anonymous said...

> Some folks think 200 rounds a month is a lot of shooting.

> For some of us, it is.

Ditto Dr. Feelgood's remark.

For the past several years, I've considered myself lucky if I have time to get to the range once a year and shoot 200 rounds. It's been a long time since I could shoot 200 rounds a month.

I'll turn in my gun owner membership card at the door.

Anonymous said...

what is it good for? Absolutely NOTHING!!! Just a belly gur for someone who never shoots anything woth shooting.

og said...

"I resemble that remark! As both a driver of a Honda Element (yes, they are ugly, but very practical) and an Engineer who uses a Mac (which works fine for that purpose, BTW, much better than a Windows machine)"

I knew there had to be one out there.

Perhaps you're using the Mac to do dynamic finite element analysis of an assembly of varied-material parts in a 3d assembly with solidworks- No, wait, Solidworks is only available for PC. Like most other serious engineering software, it's being done on a PC or a sun station or a maninframe. but wait, maybe you're doing systems analysis for multiple robotics including timestudy and servomotor efficiency and arm load... no, that software is also only available for PC. Maybe PLC programming... no, most of that software is PC only also.

You can do some spreadsheets and some simple cad on a mac, but the mature software is only available on PC or in a true UNIX system. And bootcamp means you're running a PC, not a mac.

As for the Element, you did that to yourself.

og said...

If it's any consolation to anyone's sensibilities, the folks at Taurus figured they;d sell maybe 2000 of these and that'd be it. THEY didn't plan for it to be a phenomenon.

Robert said...

I remember the first time I saw a S&W .500 6" and thought that gun is just stupid big, with almost no practical use.

Six months later I bought one.

For my 'less experienced' friends who are unimpressed with my collection of HK's and Sigs, the Smith .500 always seems to satisfy them. I'm not sure why. I think the Judge is sorta along the same lines.

Anonymous said...

Sold a crapload of matte SS 85UL models in the 90's...it was a pretty good imitation of a J for less than half the dough (and let's face it, S&W certainly left the door open with all their gyrations during that period); I never actually had a buyer complaint.

Of course I'm sure most of them had a couple cylinders run at the local range with the free half-hour time that I gave with each purchase, then went in the drawer or in the pants for the duration...hard to malfunction if there ain't no function to mal.

Never did figure out what that set-screw thing screwed through the hammer was though, or those weird little keylike objects...

As for the "Judge", objective judgement and cognitive reasoning are no more constants among gun buyers than any other consumer group. How else to explain anyone ever buying that marvel of practicality and quality engineering, the TEC-9?

AT

Anonymous said...

Or NAA's...but that's different, 'cause I like them.

Judgement? Reasoning? Pfft.

AT

Bubblehead Les. said...

Just be glad they don't come in Rare Dark Earth!

evan price said...

Since when did .410 slugs become the Hammer of Thor Almighty? I thought the load of dimes in a shotshell was hooey, until I see that Federal came out with a .410 personal defense load that is what, three copper disks and a pinch of birdshot mixed together? What, if we get mugged by lawn gnomes riding rattlesnakes, we're all set?

The Judge is a clear indication that people believe that Hollywood hooey that a shotgun, ANY shotgun, is the ultimate mankilling soul-reaper death machine. Just point in the general direction of the bad guy and touch it off and the bad guy dies. Nobody aims shotguns, right?

The snub-nosed 3" Magnum chambered Judge is about the stupidest gun I've ever seen. Let's take a gun the size of a "N" frame S&W. Instead of a powerful cartridge in a small cylinder with a longer barrel, let's make the CYLINDER longer and the BARREL shorter! That's the ticket! That way you get a nice sloppy jump through the cylinder into the forcing cone for the .45 Colt.

That's about as intelligent as steel-belted-radial streets and concrete tires.

Give me a S&W 696 any day of the week, and twice on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

The more I see the Judge being put down, the more I kind of want to buy one. My contrariness gets me in trouble like that, at times.

Anonymous said...

"The Judge, when properly evaluated, looses lots of effectiveness past 10 yards." -Al T

Careful there, lest you run afoul of Tam's pet peeves:

"Don't lose sight of the fact that there's a face-eating monkey on the loose."

docjim505 said...

I enjoy being a contrarian, so...

Are there decent studies or other reliable data (NOT "I owned one and it was great / a POS!" or, worse, "I know a guy who had a buddy who read an article about how great / terrible they are!") about the reliability and accuracy* of the piece? Have there been good studies (multiple examples of the gun firing many rounds of ammunition by different manufacturers) to demonstrate whether or not the gun does "donut" its shot pattern to any significant degree?

As a personal matter, I think that the concept of the Judge is pretty good: with a buckshot load, can can IN PRINCIPLE get multiple hits on a bad guy with one shot. Multiple hits = multiple chances to hit something important that will put him out of the fight PDQ. It puts the firepower of a (small) shotgun into a package that is a bit easier to use in a confined space such as a hallway or bedroom; not too much worry that the bad guy will grab the barrel as you come around a corner. If it is reasonably accurate up to about 10yds, then that it PLENTY for its intended purpose, i.e. close-range self-defense.

I recall, at various times of my life, round criticisms of the M1911 (too heavy! too much recoil! not enough capacity), the AK-47 (sloppy piece of junk! lousy sights! no accuracy!), the M-16 (poodle shooter! Mattel toy!), etc. And don't even get into the 9mm vs 45ACP controversy.

My point is that, barring solid evidence that the Judge is CLEARLY unreliable and so inaccurate that it cannot be expected to shoot "minute of goblin" at reasonable self-defense ranges, I fail to see reason for piling on.

----

(*) I snicker at various reviews of firearms where the writer attempts to test the "accuracy" of the piece in question. Sometimes a machine rest is used, but usually not. USUALLY different ammunition types will be used, but not always. Typically, only one example of the gun is tested. The result: Gun X shoots a 1.231" group at umpteen yds while Gun Y shoots a 1.562" group at that range. CLEARLY, Gun Y is a POS!

Most firearms will shoot better than most shooters, and demanding sub-MOA accuracy from much of anything short of a long-range target or hunting rifle is a bit ridiculous.

Gay_Cynic said...

I had the opportunity to shoot a friends Judge.

And honestly, it was great fun to shoot. It's not *my* first choice as a carry tool, but I wouldn't run shrieking over the horizon at the notion of having to carry one, either.

If I lived in snake country, I'd consider it a bit more seriously. Or if my toy fund were a bit more generous.

One of the neat things about freedom is that we get to make our own choices, for our own reasons...and it's not as bad as a gold-plated rhinestone inlaid 1911 with pink sparkle-glitter grips...

Joe in PNG said...

Meh. It interest me not at all.

As for a stupid fun gun, I'd much more prefer a CZ Skorpion or Brugger & Thompet.

Also, I fondly remember the days when I could afford to shoot 200+ rounds a week... or at all, for that matter.

Cybrludite said...

I liked mine, but you'll notice that it was the gun I sold for gas money to get back to work early after hurricane Gustav.

Tango Juliet said...

If it only had a rail.

Anonymous said...

DocJim, yeah - see the recent SWAT magazine evaluation and various youtube evaluations... Don't disagree with the close range being most probable, but I don't want to be limited by my hardware, otherwise I wouldn't put high visibility sights on my SD/HD firearms.

Tango Juliet, a rail and FDE is next. Thanks for giving them the idea!

Al T.

Tremaine said...

It's a testament to how lazy American shooters have become.

From what I've observed when I worked in a gun shop, people that buy things like the Taurus judge think they can compensate for their lack of training by buying a gun you "don't have to aim".

FatWhiteMan said...

"...is the most damning condemnation of the general firearms and ballistics knowledge level of the average American shooter that I have ever seen."

I thought that was what the .380 craze was?

Oh well, if it makes people want to buy more guns, so be it.

og said...

"If it only had a rail."

I would buy this gun tomorrow
Without a trace of sorrow
If it only had a rail.

I would shoot home intruders
and I'd threaten all the looters
if it only had a rail.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

JimB said...

Then again there is always the Bond Arms Texas Defender

Anonymous said...

Damn you Og, that's stuck in my head
now!

Gerry

Matt G said...

Og for the win.

Tam said...

"Og for the win."

Yup.

That cracked me up. :D

TrueBlueSam said...

It may be gimmicky, but it is causing more people to have a .45 caliber gun at hand, so I think it is a good thing. Those big slow bullets get the job done.

TrueBlueSam said...

On the other hand, I have had experience with shot out of a handgun that I don't care to repeat. I had a 10 inch Contender barrel with choke attached, shooting TC's .44 magnum shot loads which were made for hunting. I shot a squirrel up high in a beech tree SEVEN times before he fell, then had to put him out of his misery. I went back to a .22 rifle for squirrels after that. TC's glowing recommendations for that barrel and load were not what they were cracked up to be.

Groundhog said...

I'm not sure that "average American shooter" and "average American gun owner/buyer" are one in the same :)